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ESO High Isle Tales of Tribute TCG Beginner Guide

ESO High Isle Tales of Tribute TCG Beginner Guide – In this ESO Tales of Tribute Beginner Guide, we are going to talk about the new deck-building card game, which launches alongside the High Isle Chapter this June 2022. Together with the mechanics, I will also provide tips and tricks to become victorious in matches. If you are searching for a comprehensive explanation of how Tales of Tribute works as well as how to play it well, then this guide is for you!

ESO Tales of Tribute TCG Beginner Guide

ESO Tales of Tribute plays similar to Gwent when it was first introduced in The Witcher 3 in the sense that you ask NPCs to have matches against you. It offers a refreshing break for those who intend to hang around in taverns in the middle of finishing Quests. Regardless of whether you go against them or another player, you each select 2 Patrons, and in the process acquire their respective decks. They possess boons or special abilities that can be activated should certain requirements be met.

ESO Tales of Tribute Beginner Guide

About the decks, these will be shuffled and used by both parties throughout the encounter. This is what makes Tales of Tribute unique because you and your opponent will essentially share and buy from a pool of cards to create strategies that can either lead to glorious wins or devastating losses. Let us first begin with how you can start participating in Tales of Tribute!

ESO Tales of Tribute – How to Start Tales of Tribute

Tales of Tribute can only be accessed if you purchase the High Isle Chapter for USD 39.99 if you already own the base version of The Elder Scrolls Online or USD 59.99, which includes all of the previous expansions. Similar to acquiring leads for the Antiquities System back in the Greymoor Expansion, you are still able to collect decks and cards by completing quests and achievements but you do not have any use for them unless you buy High Isle. Once you have it, you will need to teleport to this new location’s Gonfalon Square Wayshrine and travel in front of the Gonfalon Gaming Hall to talk to Brahgas.

ESO Tales of Tribute Talking to Brahgas

Brahgas is a professional gambler and semi-professional everything else! He provides you with an overview of the card game while teaching you the basics of how to play it later on. He will then direct you to meet up with Master Razhamad who will give you 4 decks, specifically, Saint Pelin, Duke of Crows, Grandmaster Delmene Hlaalu, and Psijic Loremaster Celarus. Afterward, be sure to approach Kishka the Broker to receive daily quests in order to improve your rank.

ESO Tales of Tribute Duke of Crows Patron

The game states that after completing the tutorial quest once, you should be able to continue playing Tales of Tribute on any of your characters because progression is account-bound. However, in the PTS, you will still need to finish the tutorial for the character you wish to play Tales of Tribute on. But also note that if you are able to upgrade a card on your main, then this will be accessible for the rest of your characters in the same account.

ESO Tales of Tribute – How Decks and Patrons Work

When it comes to Patrons, there are a total of 8 with corresponding decks that you can collect. Each deck is comprised of 20 cards of different types including Actions, Agents, Contract Actions, and Contract Agents. Let us go through them one by one:

  • Action Cards – These have Play Effects that are instantly activated the moment you play them from your hand. Most Action Cards also have Combos in addition to Play Effects. One example is the Duke of Crows’ Pilfer, which lets you draw 1 card upon playing it and allows you to draw another when you combine it with another Duke of Crows card. Afterward, Action Cards will be sent to your cooldown pile.
  • Agent Cards – These play like Action Cards in terms of Play Effects and Combos but they will stay on the board until the opponent reduces their Health to 0. For instance, Saint Pelin’s Bangkorai Sentries, which has 4 Health, gains 1 Coin when you use him in every turn. As long as he is alive, he will prevent your enemy from converting Power to Prestige at the end of the round. To eliminate the Bangkorai Sentries, he has to be attacked using 4 Power. Once defeated, he will be sent to the cooldown pile.
  • Contract Action & Agent Cards – Decks either have Contract Action or Contract Agent Cards except for the Red Eagle, King of the Reach Deck, which contains both card types. Now, these Contract Cards function quite similarly to the Action and Agent Cards we have discussed but the difference is that they are immediately played once you buy them from the Tavern and they will not be added to your cooldown pile or hand at any point in the match. So if you purchase a Contract Action Card like the Kwama Egg Mine, you immediately gain 2 Coins in the same turn. And should you have 2 additional Grandmaster Delmene Hlaalu cards with you, you can even gain 3 extra Coins as part of the Combo. On the other hand, Contract Agent Cards will stay on the board until they are defeated by your enemy.

ESO Tales of Tribute Contract Agent Card

Each deck has cards that can be upgraded. To check, simply go to the Collections Tab of the Tales of Tribute Patrons. Those with green symbols located at the lower-left section of every card are the ones you are able to upgrade. These are received randomly when you win matches. For the other 4 decks and Patrons, you will need to complete specific quests or collect card fragments to completely acquire them.

At the beginning of every match, you and your opponent will select 2 Patrons each. This determines the cards you start with on top of the 6 Neutral Cards that are shuffled into your hand. Patrons provide boons at the cost of something big. For instance, the Duke of Crows grants you Power equivalent to the Coin you currently have minus 1. Comparatively, Psijic Loremaster Celarus will knock out one of your enemy’s Action Cards in exchange for 4 Coins.

ESO Tales of Tribute Psijic Loremaster Celarus Patron

Oftentimes, you can only employ the help of a single Patron for every turn but there are cards, which let you use these special abilities twice. Additionally, there is also the Neutral Deck with the Treasury Patron whose favor you do not necessarily have to win over. See, the ultimate goal and one of the win conditions of Tales of Tribute is gaining the favors of all 4 Patrons by activating their corresponding boons. More often than not, they will flip from your side to the opponent’s or vice versa depending on who uses these special abilities first. If they initially do not favor you, then you will need to work twice as hard to satisfy their requirements to get them on your side.

Speaking of win conditions, you have an alternative. In addition to the Coins and Power on your board, you need to be mindful of your Prestige Points, which are tracked via the blue hexagon underneath the Tavern. When you get to 40 Prestige, you must retain this lead against your opponent during their turn. If they do not hit 40 or surpass your score, you will win the match. However, if the both of you keep catching up to each other, then whoever either gets the favor of all 4 Patrons or reaches 80 Prestige first, becomes victorious.

ESO 45 Prestige

ESO Tales of Tribute – Gameplay Mechanics

As mentioned earlier, a Tales of Tribute match starts by choosing 2 Patrons each. Doing so will determine your and your enemy’s Starter Cards. If you do not have the other 4 Patrons yet, the both of you will always begin with the standard Peck, Goods Shipment, Mainland Inquiries, and Fortify Cards as well as 6 Gold Neutral Cards. The rest of the decks and Neutral Cards will then be shuffled into a pool of cards known as the Tavern located at the center of the board. This is where you will purchase them using Coins to create interesting and strategic combinations.

ESO Patron Deck Selection

Now that you each have 10 cards in your hand, you are ready to play the game. Whoever goes second will automatically gain 1 Coin as compensation. For every turn, you can perform several actions as long as you still have cards in hand or Coins available to purchase more cards from the Tavern. After buying them, they are immediately sent to the cooldown pile. The best course of action is to convert all of the Gold Cards into Writ of Coin Cards. Gold Cards do not offer much value because they only grant 1 Coin each as opposed to Writ of Coin Cards, which provide you with 2 Coins.

To do this, simply play 2 Gold Cards and convert them using the Treasury Patron. You will then have 1 Writ of Coin for every Gold Card in your cooldown pile to use in your succeeding turns.

It is important to remember to play Gold Cards first before sacrificing them, otherwise, you do not gain the Coins they offer. The fewer Coins you have, the lesser good cards you are able to acquire. Now should you have extra cards in your hand that will not necessarily allow you to sufficiently make purchases in the Tavern, you can opt to hold onto them or play them. It does not matter since at the end of your turn, all of the cards you have will be sent to the cooldown pile anyway. After clicking the hourglass, it is now your opponent’s turn to act. This entire gameplay loop will go on and on until one of you satisfies a win condition.

ESO Tales of Tribute Match

Additionally, you have to be mindful of the 90-second timer, otherwise, your turn will end automatically. If you remain idle for 3 consecutive turns, you will instantly lose and forfeit the match.

Game Modes and Match Types

Tales of Tribute has several game modes and match types depending on who you choose to fight, either NPCs or other players. As long as you participate, meaning regardless of whether or not you win, you gain rank points and Tribute Victory or Tribute Defeat Rewards containing materials and blueprints. If you succeed, then you acquire extra points. The more you have, the greater the difficulty rating of your opponent will be.

Alternatively, you can challenge other players in your Guild or via the Group & Activity Finder. Here, you have the option to engage in Unranked Casual or Ranked Competitive Matches. Ranked Competitive Matches should not be confused with the overall rank points you get. Should you win, you will improve your standing on the leaderboard, allowing you to go up against other highly skilled players during that season. After completing the initial 5 placement matches, your starting rank will be determined so the more wins you achieve, the higher the standing.

ESO Tales of Tribute Group & Activity Finder

Each Seasonal Tier, thereafter, will grant unique rewards such as Tribute Tokens and Transmutation Crystals. After the Rubedite Tier, you will enter the Leaderboard Rank. To up the ladder, you must improve your win rate. Note that regardless of the game mode or match type you end up choosing, your Tales of Tribute quests will continue to progress.

Tips and Tricks to Win

Next, let us talk about the tips and tricks to win in Tales of Tribute. When facing NPCs, especially at the beginning of your journey, you can efficiently beat them by satisfying the requirements of the 4 Patrons. The reason is that they do not curry the favor of these Patrons since they would rather focus on accumulating as much Prestige as possible. If you are battling it out with a player, then activating the boons in almost every turn is crucial to winning the match. The faster you gain their favor, the greater the chances of coming out victorious in the end.

ESO 4 Patron Win Condition

Another important strategy to think about is controlling your deck. As such, you will need to familiarize yourself with each of the cards and focus on at most 2 sets at a time. Having all 4 card types can mess up your strategy since you are spreading yourself too thin. For instance, you can choose to keep purchasing Duke of Crows and Saint Pelin cards instead. Duke of Crows will steadily make you draw cards provided that the Combos are fulfilled while gaining a decent amount of Power.

The Saint Pelin Deck, on the other hand, allows you to acquire a ton of Power as well as prevent the enemy from converting their Power to Prestige. These two are powerful combinations to hold on to because not only do you improve the chances of drawing your much-needed cards, but you also accumulate Power as a result.

ESO Saint Pelin Deck

Meanwhile, the Grandmaster Delmene Hlaalu Set will let you instantly buy cards from the Tavern without spending Coin or provide you with heaps of Coin, thereby having great purchasing power. Gone are the days when you have to manage these resources! Should you wish to mess up the opponent’s turn, you can turn to Psijic Loremaster Celarus for help. His cards will allow you to choose and remove the good Tavern Cards for sale to intervene with the enemy’s success rate. Moreover, you will be able to select the cards that you wish to thin from your deck by placing them directly in the cooldown pile. Talk about manipulation and control all in one!

In addition to the Patron Decks, remember that you also have to pay attention to the Neutral Cards. For instance, if you have a lot of Coin, then you should prioritize buying Imprisonment to instantly gain 4 Power, and therefore 4 Prestige if you do not use it against the opponent’s Agent. It is also good to purchase Tithe, especially if you are rushing to gain the favors of Patrons since this card will let you activate two of their boons in a single turn.

ESO Tithe Neutral Card

Should your enemy have Agents on the board, then instead of using your Power to reduce their Health, you ought to buy Ambush or Black Sacrament. These cards will automatically move those Agents into the cooldown pile, thereby invalidating their respective Play Effects.

Lastly, remember that the order of action per card always starts with Play Effects. Should there be Combos in their descriptions, you will want to play them first to make sure that you trigger corresponding actions. As a beginner, it is best to activate one action at a time to avoid any confusion.

Stay tuned for more ESO High Isle Guides and be sure to check out the Elder Scrolls Online Wiki or visit our Twitch Channel if you have questions on the game! What did you think of this ESO Tales of Tribute Beginner Guide? What activities are you most excited to participate in in the High Isle Chapter? Let us know in the comments section below!

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